The Japanese Ambassador (Shidehara) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Permit me to enclose herewith, for the information of the American Government, a Memorandum dealing with the recent situation in Siberia. The decision of the Japanese Government contained in the Memorandum has just been telegraphed to me, and has at the same time been announced in Japan.

Believe me [etc.]

K. Shidehara

The Japanese Embassy to the Department of State


Within a period between March 12 and the end of May last, about 700 Japanese subjects at Nikolaievsk in the Province of Sakhalien, including officers and men of the garrison and members of the Consulate as well as civilian residents, men, women and children alike, were subjected to a wholesale massacre at the hands of the Bolsheviks through proceedings of unspeakable brutality. The Japanese Government feel it their duty to take suitable measures for upholding the dignity of a nation so wantonly assailed. In the absence, however, of any government at present with which the Japanese Government can properly conduct negotiations on the subject, they have come to the conclusion that they have no alternative but to seize and occupy certain points in the Province of Sakhalien which may be found necessary, until a legal government shall have been established in Russia and the present question satisfactorily adjusted.

With regard to the region of Trans-Baikalia, the Japanese Government have decided to proceed to the withdrawal of the Japanese forces from that district, in pursuance of their repeated declarations, considering that the whole Czecho-Slovak troops have now taken departure.

In the direction of Vladivostock, however, the situation constituting a grave menace to the security of Korea not only shows no [Page 517]sign of improvement, but proves distinctly aggravating, while a large number of Japanese residents continue to reside in that district. Accordingly, until the reestablishment of order and tranquillity in the region, an appropriate number of Japanese troops will be maintained around Vladivostock, as well as at Khabarovsk which commands an important position in the line of communication with the Province of Sakhalien.